“Idols, huh? That’s not a bad way to take over Japan, I guess.”
— Saki to herself, after the group’s performance
”I Love HIPHOP SAGA” (I♡HIPHOP SAGA Airabu hippuhoppu SAGA) is the second episode of the first season of the Zombie Land Saga anime, and is the second episode overall.
Synopsis (Kotaro’s Diary)
(Note: This is an unofficial English translation of the synopsis from the website.)
With the zombie gang finally aware, Sakura seems to be finally calm. At last, they can start working as an idol group! First of all, they must ensure that no one discovers that they are zombies, causing massive terror. The group is also trying to change its name to "Death Musume (Temporal)". However, it seems that everyone is leaning towards that title, and nobody can think of anything else. Then the idols prepare for a proper debut. There has to be an event that's great for them!
The girls, now (mostly) regained their consciences, gather underground from the mansion. Kōtarō comes to greet all the girls now that they have regained their senses. To begin their journey as idols, he first informs them that they are zombies and instructs them to never be seen by people in their zombie appearance, as they would be stereotypically treated as monsters seen in many zombie horror media. Above all, he enthusiastically trusts the girls who will become idols to save Saga's idol entertainment.
Kōtarō informs them that they will debut at Saga Castle, the venue will hold an annual contest that will feature various performances. He then gives the girls idol training to prepare them for the event. Sakura is the only member who remains pragmatic with Kōtarō, as she watches the rest of the girls loaf around. As the girls rest, Sakura is confronted by Saki, the rebellious leader of the motorcycle gang "Dorami."
She verbally scolds Sakura for taking the idea of "zombie idols" very seriously as they are already dead, then leaves, unhappy with her own current state. Sakura decides to go to sleep, but then she realizes that Ai has gone missing; Ai has decided to escape from the mansion, fearful of her zombie status.
She tries to get out the front door, but Romero is outside near the door and tries to jump towards it, scaring Ai. She leaves through the back door, where she crawls through the tall grass and ends up running into Junko, also intending to leave. Startled, Ai and Junko scream and Sakura sees them. She tries to convince them to come back and try to become idols even though they are dead, but they still refuse and leave the mansion.
Sakura hesitantly follows them, still trying to convince them. As the girls head through the city, Ai asks Sakura why she is taking Kōtarō's idea of becoming zombie idols seriously.
Sakura confesses that she admits that she never thought about it. But she has the feeling of remembering who she was before dying every time she did idol activities. She then decided that she would continue her career as a zombie idol, only to feel that moment of nostalgia again. The girls meet a group of three rappers, who start to get close and flirt with the girls with their freestyle.
But the girls ignore them and leave. Later they meet another passer-by and try to evade them, but the girls find a dead end. As people get closer to the girls, the lone passer-by identifies himself as a policeman, which Sakura recognizes. The policeman watches the rappers and taunts them while he approaches.
Ai then tries to ask the police for help by approaching him. When the policeman and rappers see Ai and the girls' zombie appearances, the boys are terrified. The policeman takes his gun and shoots at the girls but misses. They all scream in panic; rappers approach the cop in horror. In beckoning chaos, the girls take this opportunity to escape, while a hidden Kōtarō watches the girls as they flee. The girls immediately return to the mansion, where Ai and Junko are mortified from being shot at.
Everything becomes normal at the mansion and Sakura continues idol training with Kōtarō. However, she still sees the rest of the girls doing nothing. Sakura then sees Saki staring at her coldly during her training, then leaves. Sakura takes a breather on the front porch of the mansion. Then Saki appears and confronts her, criticizing her seriousness in her role as zombie idol again. Kōtarō now takes the girls to the Saga Castle for the event. First, he gives them makeup to disguise the girls as humans. Then the girls wait backstage for their turn. Now they are "Green Face" since Kōtarō has decided on their group's official name.
The girls take the stage and make their formal idol presentation to the audience, then start acting on the music's cue. Still, Tae realizes that an old man in the audience is eating a whole squid. She immediately runs toward him but Sakura stops her and tries to drag her back onto the stage. Still, in the process, tae's arm pops off and Tae falls forward, causing her head to fall off. Worried that her identities as zombies will be discovered, Sakura tries to calm the situation by reassuring everyone it's a trick and returning to put Tae's head back on. However, Saki ,deciding that her performance is going nowhere, continuously separates Tae's head to make fun of everyone. Sakura tries to stop her, but Saki rejects her and knocks her down. Eventually, Sakura becomes upset with Saki and smacks Tae's head out of Saki's hands. She furiously picks up a microphone and starts rapping and insulting Saki for her stubbornness.
Saki defends himself in the same verbal way, resulting in a rap battle. Lily and Yūgiri Take advantage of Sakura and Saki's internal struggles and team up as background rappers. Sakura finally confronts Saki and pushes her aside and throughout the rap.
The rap battle impresses the audience, and the girls were praised for their performance, much to their surprise.
After the show, Saki confronts Sakura again and tells her that he respects her for having the guts to face her and is interested in the concept of Japanese idols.
To herself, Sakura noted that her performance was not very "idol-like", but she was happy to be able to act in a real show.
The episode ends with Kōtarō smiling at the girls, impressed with their performance.
- Kotaro Tatsumi
- Romero (cameo)
- Green Face
- Policeman A (cameo)
- Skull and Bull
- Metalhead A
- Metalhead B
- It is revealed that Sakura, Saki and the police officer can rap.
- And that Kotaro can beatbox.
- And that Yugiri is adept at playing the shamisen.
- The group’s second and last temporary group name, “Green Face”, is a reference to the color of their skins as zombies.
- Kotaro’s diary entry for the episode is written sometime after the rest of the girls have regained their consciousness and before their performance at Saga Castle.
- Kotaro's journal entry for the episode is written sometime after the rest of the girls have regained consciousness and before their performance at Saga's castle.
- Saki indirectly mentions the Oyajitchi (Old Geezer) from the Tamagotchi franchise in one of her lines in the rap battle.
- Tamagotchi existed during the 1990s and the Oyajitchi has been a staple in the franchise ever since.
- Sakura addresses Junko and Ai as "Tweedlefortune & Tweedlefame" in the English dub of the episode. This is a reference to Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two characters from a nursery rhyme in Lewis Carroll’s 1871 book, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There.
- The title of this episode is a reference to the song “I LOVE HIPHOP” by the rock band, Dragon Ash, that helped popularize hiphop in Japan.
- Sakura exclaims how normal humans are not capable of detaching their heads. The girls touching up on the fact that they are all zombies is a reoccurring scene in the series.
- This is the second episode wherein Tae’s Japanese voice actor is only credited as “???”.
- Kotaro corrects a confused Sakura who thought that their group name was still “Death Musume”, saying it was now “Green Face”, when in fact the piece of paper taped under the list of performers just outside of the Saga Castle still refers to them as “Death Musume”.